It seems it’s not so easy to find a bike frame for a 1.78m giant like myself here in Japan. When I left Perth, I had the idea of getting a Bianchi Mono-Q from a shop here. There’s quite a range of Bianchis in Japan that you can’t get anywhere else. Unfortunately, when I wandered into a bike shop, they told me that Mono-Qs were completely out of stock in Japan plus weren’t being made any more. The next day, we (Kazuko, in fact) rang the importer, who confirmed this. It seems strange to discontinue a model which is just one year old so I’m guessing they are built in batches and there isn’t another batch on the way for a while.
In any case, Mr Kubota in the bike shop showed me a list of Bianchi orders and said he had no idea when they would arrive. So I took a look around the shop to see what else there was but there were pretty much no road bikes in my size. Anchor, Bridgestone’s Japanese market road bike subsidiary, doesn’t even make a frame my size. However, there was a very shiny 55cm Pista that caught my eye. I quickly formulated a plan to buy a road bike online and get the Pista to see me through and also to act as a fair-weather city bike.
Yesterday we went back to the shop to get the bike. It’s a Pista Classic – chrome Pista frame but with a Brooks saddle and flat bars. I’ve ordered some drop bars from the shop so when they arrive, I’ll flip the stem and put them on. The flat bars are not uncomfortable; I just feel embarassed riding around with them. I’m sacrificing practicality for style here: there are no bottle holders or means of putting mudguards on, so the least I can do is look properly good. The only question is whether I go for white or celeste bar tape.
By the time we got home yesterday, it was too late to go for a ride and this morning the forecast was for rain but it wasn’t raining yet so I thought I might just jump on and ride until it started raining, then turn around and head home. Luckily I got a decent ride in and it didn’t rain on me at all. I headed out of town and through the hills you can see in the entry titled The View. It was a good steady climb, not like the short, sharp kicks you get in Perth. I had no troubles getting up it on the Pista’s 48×16. I’m riding single-speed not fixed so still have the luxury of coasting. I did the bulk of the ride on the road (just a little on the footpath) and had no problems with cars at all. Everyone passes pretty carefully and/or slowly. To be honest, I don’t know what you’d have to do to get parped at here. Yesterday I saw a lady riding on the wrong side of the road go through a red light causing two cars to brake and nearly bowling over a pedestrian and no one looked the least nonplussed.
And on the way back through town after my ride, I came across a dancing festival which is currently on. Because I’m still doing these entries on my iPhone, I can’t splice the photos into the entries or give them captions, so you’ll just have to use your wits to figure out where they sit in the story.